Time Travel on Ebay!
Owned and Worn by the Outlaw Billy the Kid!
Current bid: US $275,100.00
The seller states:
"Two years ago at this time I was privileged to offer at auction a magnificent antique holster previously carried by Union Army Major General Ardell "Butch" Bucheimer. This year I am pleased to be able to offer an equally magnificent specimen of museum quality. The story of my acquisition of this rare historical artifact begins in 1999. I was touring Europe with friends during September of that year, and happened to stay for the night at a remote French village by the name of Bonne, on the way to Geneva, Switzerland. At the Hotel bar, I struck up a conversation with an odd looking buck-toothed local, and though I had some difficulty understanding everything that was said, an answer to my query regarding the origin of the name of the place astounded me. I was told that the village was named after "Zee American outleau, Billy zee Kid" and that the village was actually founded by Billy's wife in the early 1880's.
The remainder of the story I heard that night was even more incredible, but over time and extensive historical research, I have come to believe it is true. It seems that contrary to popular belief, Billy Bonney was not a single man at the time of his death by the gun of Pat Garrett on July 14, 1881. He had, in fact, married a woman by the name of Maria Magdalena, in Santa Fe, NM, in March of 1881. The marriage ceremony was said to have been secretly performed by New Mexico territorial Governor Lew Wallace. I was told that Billy's (now pregnant) wife fled to France in the months following Billy's death at Fort Sumner, and eventually found her way to this area of France to gave birth to a son. It seems that to this day many of the residents of the village are direct descendents of William H. Bonney, although over time the name was Francofiled to drop the "y".
I struck up several friendships that night and continued to correspond with residents of the town over the years, eventually obtaining from one of them this fine holster reputed to be one of the last
remaining possessions of Billy belonging to the actual descendents of William H. Bonney. I despair to tell you what I had to give for this remarkable find, but suffice to say, I paid dearly. Although this holster is not Mexican carved or tooled in any way, it is beautifully embossed with the unmistakable "US" in oval (meaning "Union States"), as opposed to "CS" (meaning "Confederate States") It is also marked on the back with the historical name of Catney Enterprises. Louden Jacinto “Cat” Catney, whom I am given to understand was a noted saddle maker in Lincoln, New Mexico territory from 1852-1879, was rumored to have been awarded a contract by the US Government to produce holsters prior to and during the Civil War. Apparently this was an over-run or possibly a prototype that was given to Billy by Catney, to carry the prized, pearl handled 1911 Colt Auto Pistol that Billy wielded so effectively during the Lincoln County Wars. Catney soon after tragically lost his life in a mule shoeing accident.
Had he lived, would “Cat” Catney have achieved the fame and high reputation of noted leatherworkers like H.H. Heiser, Frazier, Gallup, F.A. Meanea, S.D. Myres or George Lawrence? We will never know. Does the fact that New Mexico finally became a state in 1912 lend further credence to the provenance of this wonderful example of 19th century leather-craft? You decide. This important historical holster is in remarkable condition for its age and would be a worthy addition to any collection. Up here on the Turquoise Trail, we believe in truth, justice and the American way. Please e-mail any questions you may have before bidding."
Yeah baby! I've got Alexander the Great's personal Beretta 92FS that he used to decimate the Ottoman Empire in the Falklands War. I couldn't find a buyer at the last gun show.....
Judging from the seller's responses to his questions, I just may place a bid.......
Q: Is said relic the very one which was hidden beneath the obelisk at Saint-Sulpice Church in France, dating back to the Merovingian dynasty? Well that means this sidearm carrier actually belonged to an even more important historical figure before Sir William Bonne. This is the holy grail of all sidearm chalices! Mar-24-07Heh!
A: This is an amazing revelation! If this connection is true, it could be the most startling and controversial historical discovery of the 21st century. And it would, of course, add inestimable value to the item.
Q: I have Billy the Kid's original Colt M16 he also used during that same time period. Many people do not know that the AR-15 / M16 was actually used by Union Troops in the Civil War, and that Billy was given one by then President Harry Truman. Since it is an orginal M16, I am sure a trade is out of the question...but just wanted to share the info. Mar-24-07
A: In a future auction I may be offering President Harry Truman's, "The buck stops here" original Buck knife. Watch for it.
Q: is that a lever action FAL Billy is holding in the tin type or is it a L1A1 Mar-24-07
A: Common belief holds that Billy carried a Model 1873 Winchester, possibly chambered in .38 Super to match his 1911 Colt Auto. But I have always felt there might be room for speculation there.
Q: Does this holster fit the semi auto version of the Colt 1911, Or the full auto version? Also, do you know what potential calibers of pistol this holster could carry? Mar-24-07
A: Either one in any caliber, although I understand that, like many pistoleros in the Southwest, Billy preferred the .38 Super, even though that ammo was difficult to obtain then (as it is now).
Q: The Civil War was in the 1860's Browning did not design the 1911 pistol until, well 1911, some 50 years later. Actually the holster looks to be a Chinese reproduction made out of water buffalo hide. Are you sure it wasn't made for Buffalo Bill when he toured the Orient? Mar-24-07
A: No Chinese connection here, but I may be listing a very nice prehistoric Chinese knife later this weekend that you may be interested in.
Q: I have always dreamt of owning Billy's holster, butI feel that this sale will end far beyond my price range. I could make a copy if I could get some leather from the strain of the cow. You dont by chance have any semen from the bull that fathered the cow do you? Mar-24-07
A: Not at present. Check my auctions next year at this time.
Q: i have a similar one, do you think it might be one of his wifes holsters? i also heard about his wife and heard she carried an engraved bushmastyr-bayture in 49 cal, with elephant ivory grips. did you hear anything that might confirm this? Mar-24-07
A: I am confident that the holster offered is unique. Possibly later in life, but during this period Maria was known to carry a Lefaucheux revolver in 12mm pinfire.
Q: This is truly an extraordinary find! In my personal collection I have Chaiman Mao's Lorcin and Ghandi's personal bayonet frog- I must also have this holster! Mar-24-07
A: I recommend that you bid early and often.
Q: If I was to bid and win, do you know if I could donate this to the Smithsonain for a tax write-off? Mar-23-07
A: I am almost certain that you could.
Q: Is this holster black color or white? It looks black in the picture, but then I thought, maybe that is really the photo negative and the holster is really white. I would be very interested in the holster if it is white color, as it would match my shoes. Mar-23-07
A: It is indeed black. The picture of Billy is the reverse tintype.
Q: I am currently in possession of Pat Garrett's broomhandle Mauser stock used during his execution of Mr. Bonney. Would you consider an even trade for the holster? Mar-23-07
A: That is a tempting offer. However, I would have to check ebay auction terms and conditions to see if that could be arranged. I will advise.
Q: does this holster have the ultra-rare belt hanging hooks??? Mar-23-07
A: The ultra-rare belt hooks are intact.
Q: Does the auction include the correspondence from the French person who sold you this valuable holster? This correspondence would surely add value in the display of this rare item. Mar-23-07
A: Copies of all available correspondence can be provided to the winning bidder upon request.
Q: How does Billy Bonney who was killed in 1881 weild a Colt 1911 pistol in the Lincoln County Wars, when the said Colt pistol was not in existence until 1911? Are you interested in purchasing the M1911 that Billy carried? Mar-23-07
A: Coincidentally, I have recently entered into preliminary negotiations with the Bonne Ancestral Trust to acquire Billy's 1911 colt. As you probably know, Colt 1911 pistols manufactured prior to 1911 have negative serial numbers, and Billy's has an fairly high negative number.
Q: Have you done a leather sample yet, to determine the age and sex of the animal it was made from? Mar-23-07
A: I checked into that, but unfortunately, a comprehensive lab test cannot be performed without severely damaging the holster. However, based upon the suppleness, underlying lighter color and texture of the leather, I would guess it was made from the hide of a 3-4 year old non-angus cow (not bull) of medium stature in good physical condition.
Q: I am very interested in this rare holster. How much will you take to end the auction early? Mar-23-07
A: Although I appreciate your offer, I regret that no amount of money could tempt me to end this auction early. I adhere very strictly to ebay policy on this.